French TV Shows More Evidence of Hamas Hiding Behind Civilians
As the dust settles amid a 72-hour ceasefire between Israel terrorist groups in Gaza, more and more reports are emerging from Gaza backing the Israeli government's claims that Hamas is deliberately carrying out attacks from within densely-populated civilian areas.
Earlier Tuesday an Indian TV report exposed terrorists setting up and launching a rocket just meters away from a hotel where members of the international media were staying, in the middle of a crowded residential area.
Like the tiny handful of other journalists who have defied Hamas orders not to report anything negative about them, the NDTV report was only aired after the news team had left the Gaza Strip and were free from any risk of intimidation or worse at the hands of Hamas's security forces.
Now, a France 24 TV journalist - who famously ducked for cover during a live interview when a Hamas rocket was fired right next to him - has also gone on the record to report how the rocket which caught him off guard was launched in a crowded civilian area and right in front of a UN building.
It is unclear if the hotel is the same one at which the Indian crew were staying. It does not appear to have been the same incident, as the NDTV crew were blocked from approaching the scene by Hamas security forces, while France 24's correspondent, Gallagher Fenwick, seemingly had no problem doing so.
Fenwick noted that "this type of set up" is precisely the kind that Israeli forces have cited as proof of Hamas's use of human shields in Gaza.
"The Israeli army has repeatedly accuse Palestinian militants of shooting from within densely-populated civilian areas, and that is precisely the the set up we have here," he pointed out.
"The other very noticeable element to be taken into consideration is about 100 meters behind me: a blue UN flag floating above this building. This is another accusation that has been made by the Israeli government and Israeli forces - this rocket launching site is right next to a UN facility," Fenwick added.
UN buildings have been repeatedly used by Hamas as weapons storage facilities and launchpads. On at least three occasions, rockets were discovered in schools belonging to the United Nations Relief and Work Agency (UNRWA).
Several IDF strikes on UN facilities sparked international outcry in the weeks since Operation Protective Edge began, although in at least one case eyewitnesses said it was Hamas rockets (more than 100 of which have fallen short into Gaza) which caused the deaths. The Israeli military says it is investigating the other incidents, but insists that Hamas is responsible for initiating firefights and launching rockets purposefully in areas where it knows civilians will be caught in the crossfire.
An "urban warfare" manual recently captured from Hamas by the IDF revealed more evidence of how the Islamist group views placing civilian targets at risk of bombardment as a central element of its military strategy, knowing that Israel will either avoid bombing such positions altogether, or in doing so provide propaganda points to the terror group.